How to create more time to spend with your family
Do you ever find yourself wishing your day had more than 24 hours, so you would have enough time for your loved ones?
It’s not uncommon to come home from a long day at work, only to find you still have so much housework that can’t be put off any longer, that you barely manage to read your kids a bedtime story and they’re off to bed. Since you probably can't control how much time you spend at work, here are a few tips that will help you create more time to spend with family.
Reduce time wasters. Check your e-mail before your kids get up or after they’ve gone to bed. Minimize the time you spend looking for lost keys, phones and other everyday items by designating a space where every family member can their most important belongings. Make sure all shoes, coats and bags are accounted for in the evening to avoid early morning panic, and enjoy a peaceful breakfast together.
Involve the kids. You may be able to sweep the floors or set the table five times faster than your 5-year-old, but if you involve your kids, you turn the chores into a bonding activity as well as teaching them valuable skills.
Parents’ most important job is not to be their kids’ personal assistant, but to teach them to be independent. Even a small child can put toys back in the box, and they can have fun doing it, too. Invent a family game to see who can get the most done the fastest.
Meal prep. Double upof whatever’s for dinner and freeze it for later in the week. Grill extra vegetables and toss them with some chicken for lunch the next day. Mix leftover fruit salad with yogurt and cereal for breakfast. Keep containers of frozen fruit and veggies in the freezer to save you from an extra trip to the store in case you forget to plan for dessert or a side dish. It's also perfectly fine to keep a frozen pizza or two in the freezer.
Use what you’ve got. Go over each item on your to-do list and determine whether it is absolutely necessary. Tumble drying with steam programmes, for example, can almost completely replace ironing. Could your partner, friend or relative handle some of the workload? Coordinate errands so you can get as much as possible done in one trip.
Create new family traditions. Don’t wait for holidays or big family events to spend quality time together. Make plans for Friday game night or Saturday breakfast. The whole family, even parents, should schedule everything else outside of this set family time. Everyone should unplug (no phones, social media or TV), and enjoy each other’s company. Family time shouldn’t be an afterthought; it’s a priority.
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